​The Value and Importance of Digitizing Documents

During the holidays...

With Thanksgiving now in the rear-view mirror, we turn our attention to the rest of the holiday season. Regardless of how you may celebrate, one thing always associated with the holidays is memories.

For almost two centuries now, we’ve been preserving these, and other, memories in the form of photography. Of course, traditional film photography has largely given way to its digital successor, but years and decades worth of old memories remain in the form of printed pictures. They may be carefully organized in photo albums; they might be piled haphazardly in shoe boxes or dusty storage chests.

But even the most organized photo collections suffer from the same reality – that these physical prints (the originals, if you will) will methodically deteriorate in quality and appearance. That’s why no time is better than the present (holiday pun intended) to start thinking about digitizing these photos for permanent preservation.

Preserving old photographs isn’t limited to just personal or family collections. Libraries, governments, universities – these institutions all probably have some form of photo collection (or likely multiple collections) slowly heading toward their ultimate fate of ruination. These fading archives of history need digital conversion.

Digitizing these collections provides multiple benefits. First, unlike their physical counterparts, digital photographs won’t fade over time. The color is permanently captured. And, in fact, an additional benefit is that the color can actually be adjusted. There’s no practical way to manipulate a film photograph to restore its original colors or repair acquired distortions. But with technology and software, digital versions of these photographs can regain some of their original authenticity.

Digital photos also have the advantage of advanced organization. With metadata, digital photos can be easily labelled and searched. It’s no longer necessary to sift through dozens or hundreds of photos to find the one you’re looking for. Simply search and find.

Sharing the photos also becomes easy with digital files. Single pictures or entire collections can instantly be sent electronically through email or social media. Or, with cloud technology, they can be stored online and accessed by anyone, anytime you wish. Digital collections can also be easily organized and turned into projects like slideshows, scrapbooks, magnets, calendars, even coffee mugs.

If all that isn’t enough to convince you of the need to digitize film photo collections, how about this one: the digital files are safe (even safer if you create a backup). Whereas originals can be ruined by flood, fire or physical damage – or lost – digital files can be backed up or stored in the cloud for permanent preservation. Need a copy of a photo to hold in your hand? Just print it out. In the event it gets damaged, you have the original on file for whatever you need.

In summary, we preserve our past in photos. But film photography has a literal shelf life. By digitizing these records of our lives, we make them safer, more shareable and more accessible. And, digitizing these documents can be done with a single machine, like the ScanPro® All-In-One™ – an affordable scanner that offers a color image sensor, capturing all life's important memories.

Make your memories last with ScanPro. For more information on the ScanPro product line or if you are an existing customer that wants to add color, please contact us.

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